Athena in ancient Greek religion and mythology is the goddess of wisdom, arts, literature and war. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena. She was the daughter of Zeus; her birth is unique in that she did not have a mother. Instead, she sprang full grown and clad in armour from Zeus' forehead.Athena is portrayed as an astute companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour. She was fierce and brave in battle; however, she only took part in wars that defended the state and home from outside enemies. She was the patron of the city, handcraft, and agriculture. Her holy tree was the olive tree and she was often symbolised as an owl. She became the patron goddess of Athens after winning a contest against Poseidon by offering the olive tree to the Athenians.
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